Yeah, I think patents do more harm than good. Often they are made by people who can't bring the product to market, have not worked out the details, want a million dollars, and have broadly claimed it so no functionally similar invention can be brought to market.
I once invented a simple silent rachet but could not sell it because someone else designed one of such complexity that I doubt they built it or that anyone could know if theirs would even work. Yet their specific claim lets them make a broad claim to include all else including my simple design.
I believe to get a 20 year patent, one should have a working marketable model. Otherwise they should just get a year to make it work. But that is another trade-off issue.
I hope slumped mirrors have not been patented.
Yes, I'll have fun. If I can't go hiking with my bad knee, I might as well explore materials science in my shop while on my wheely chair.
I have 40+ so far, some already expired. The rules (United States) have been tweaked to encourage/require transition to production, else the patent gets free license to others... something to that effect (Good!) Most of the places where I worked, or contract to... would not even consider patenting unless we were rocketing into production ASAP. Just sitting on patents is pretty much a thing of the past.
Prototyping was By Far the most fun part of the entire process! >>>
>team gets assigned another "Impossible Problem"
>anyone/everyone dreams up solutions (the crazier the better!)
>concepts enter committee, nearly all get shot down, couple/few get the go-ahead
>champions sweat bullets, arses and reputations on the line
>more hurdles, convincing
>customer awards production contract
>produce, test, deliver
>success or failure
Ummm... I don't think you need worry that slumping is any longer patent-protected !
An Improved Mouse Trap:
6. The apparatus claimed in claim 1, wherein the slumping boule descends upon the mouse, igniting it beyond survivability.